A team of Airmen from the 86th Aerospace Medical Squadron used the Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century program to take a closer look and improve processes in the deployment health assessment area.
The AFSO21 program is a tool used by the Air Force to increase global readiness and improve processes.
“We wanted to take a closer look at the deployment health assessment process because we noticed that there were redundancies and things that needed to be changed,” said Staff Sgt. Ninos Chamoun, 86th AMDS NCOIC of preventative health section.
Deployers have to complete a total of five health assessments before and after a deployment. After taking a look at the process, the Airmen noticed that the third, fourth and fifth health assessments’ numbers had been lacking in completion.
“Ramstein deploys, on average, 2,000 people per year,” Chamoun said. “Everyone completes a questionnaire before they deploy. There is a 90 percent completion rate for the first and second health assessments. The third, fourth and fifth assessments are completed 90 days after returning from a deployment so the numbers drop 50 to 60 percent.”
After implementing the new program and making a few changes, Chamoun expects to see great results in getting deployers in for those last few appointments.
In the overall deployment health assessment process, they have eliminated an additional visit to the medical group, Chamoun said.
“There are a lot of steps involved when trying to get ready for a deployment. Eliminating just one of them would take some of the stress out of the process and allow you to spend more time with your family,” said Senior Airman Whitney Stork, 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, who was getting ready to deploy.
It is imperative that deployers understand that the health assessments are completed when needed because it deals directly with their health, Chamoun said.
“This is one of the most important things we can do in the medical group. The ultimate mission is to fly, fight and win,” Chamoun said. “When we talk about a deployer I don’t see any other way they can fly, fight and win without their mental health before they deploy and when they come back.”
Ramstein has utilized the AFSO21 program in seven different units on base thus far.
If your unit would like to become part of the solution, email the 86th Force Support Squadron at firstname.lastname@example.org.